Publication Date


Degree Type

Master of Arts


The present study examined the effects of punishment given to the most valued team member who has committed a company rule violation. The team is working on an important project where the contribution by that valued member is critical to project completion. The study assessed the effects of the severity of rule violation, the severity of the punishment, the consistency of the punishment, and who is impacted by the punishment. The results indicated that when a valued employee has committed a rule violation, applying consistent punishment is perceived as more fair and appropriate by the teammates. However, when that valued employee receives the punishment is also important. Punishment that removes the valued employee from the team and inhibits completion of important team projects is not perceived as fair or appropriate. The participants viewed the implementation of punishment for the valued employee more fair when the punishment was applied after the completion of a team project, allowing contribution by the most valued team member for the duration of the project. The punishment was more likely to deter future violations when the punishment matched the severity of the violation.


Psychology | Sports Sciences